All Posts By

Debra Polsky

Treasures from the DJHS Archives – Skibell/Goldstein Collection

By | 1940s, news | No Comments

Among the many collections to explore, the archives of the Dallas Jewish Historical Society (DJHS), located in the Aaron Family JCC, houses a collection from the Skibell-Goldstein family, chronicling the history of this large Jewish family from the late 1800s to early 1970s.  The collection includes a large number of photographs (some from the 1870s) and documents (letters, government certificates, two wedding ketubahs – one from 1911 and another from 1941), as well as a number of artifacts, including a Russian Chumash, dating back to the 1800s. The Goldstein family traces its roots in Dallas back to the late 1800s when the patriarch of the family, Jacob Goldstein, immigrated to the United States from Russia through the port of Castle Garden, NY in 1882.  In 1910, one of Jacob’s five children, Isaac Goldstein, married into another prominent immigrant family, the Skibelski family, who changed their name to Skibell upon entry into the United States.  Isaac and his wife, Ida, had five children – Jacob, Hilda, Sylvan, Mitchell, and Rhea Leah.  All three of the sons served in the military during World War II. A notable artifact in this collection – a World War II medical kit – belonged to Isaac…

Read More
Home of Alex Sanger, Ervay & Canton Streets, c. 1880s
Courtesy of the Collection of the Texas/Dallas History & Archives Division, Dallas Public Library


By | news | No Comments

EVERY HOME HAS A STORY . . . Sunday, November 6, 2016, 3:15 p.m. at the Aaron Family JCC Do you have old family photographs in boxes in a spare room or garage? Do you have Bubbe and Zayde’s old love letters in a box in the attic?  Do you have your parents’ wedding pictures and Ketubah?  Are you unsure if your family heirlooms and documents might have any value?  Do you know you have something great and want to preserve it, but just don’t know where to start? As part of Learning Fest 2016, The Dallas Jewish Historical Society will host an introductory preservation workshop to help provide information about basic preservation, practical advice for handling, storing, and caring for personal collections, and to raise awareness of the value that personal family collections can hold for historical or cultural heritage institutions. Join us and learn what you can do to start organizing and preserving your family’s incredible story. CLICK HERE TO SEE THE 2016 LEARNINGFEST SCHEDULE OF EVENTS AND TO REGISTER Speakers Alexis Joanna Ferguson, MLS, DJHS Archivist Alexis provides leadership of our Archive Management program. Alexis received a BA in Anthropology from TCU and an MS in Library…

Read More
Rubenstein, Leon

Leon Rubenstein

By | oral history | No Comments

Leon Rubenstein was born in 1924 in Fort Worth, TX, and moved to Dallas as a young child. Leon attended college at SMU during World War II, and then joined the Navy as part of the unit that invaded the Marshall Islands after only six weeks of boot camp training. Leon married at 26, after teaching himself to play music and forming a band in his early twenties. He and his wife, Muriel, had three children together in Dallas.  After several years of working two jobs to provide for his family, he opened up his own store near Preston Hollow before leaving retail to sell industrial chemicals.  Later he became involved with and soon became the Chairman for the Homeless Veterans’ Thanksgiving Dinner, volunteering a large amount of his time to raise money for the Veterans’ Hospital. Click on the image to watch the video, or click here.

Read More

In memoriam – Ginger Chesnick Jacobs z”l

By | news | No Comments

BARUCH DAYAN EMET It is with deep sadness that we extend condolences to the family of Ginger Chesnick Jacobs on the death of their mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, on Thursday, June 16, 2016. Ginger was the wife of Mike Jacobs z”l; mother of Mark Jacobs, Deborah Linksman, Andy Jacobs and Reuben Jacobs; grandmother of Rivka (Brad) Altman, Leeza (Joe) Sanderson, Sarah (Jeffrey) Verchow, and Aviva Linksman; great-grandmother of Devon Altman and Elijah Verchow. Founder of the Dallas Jewish Historical Society, Ginger tirelessly from 1971 up to the last several months to ensure that the rich history and the many contributions of the Jewish community in Dallas will be remembered. Services will be held at Congregation Shearith Israel, 9401 Douglas Ave., at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, June 17, 2016, in the Aaron Family Main Sanctuary; internment to follow at  Shearith Israel Cemetery, 4634 Dolphin Road in Dallas. Shiva minyan will be held at the home of Rivka & Brad Altman, 9317 Faircrest in Dallas, beginning on Sunday, June 19th at 6:30 p.m. Memorial contributions may be made to the Ginger Chesnick Jacobs Historical Tour and Outreach Fund at the Dallas Jewish Historical Society. May Ginger’s memory be for a blessing on all who knew her, may her soul be bound up in the bonds of eternal life and…

Read More
Florentines S. African

Roots to Boots–Cookies with South African flair!

By | news | No Comments

Granny Hannah’s Florentines  (courtesy of Joan Gremont) 3 cups unsalted peanuts (raw or roasted) 3 cups raisins    3 cups corn flakes   ¾ cup glace cherries (red/green), chopped small    1 can condensed milk Mix together.  Place in heaps on rice paper and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.  If no rice paper is available, you can use non-stick foil or parchment paper, or even a pan that has been sprayed.  The advantage of the rice paper is that it is edible. You can dip the bottoms in a thin layer of melted chocolate.

Read More
Scrapbook Bas Mitzvah compressed

Treasures from the Archives – March 2016

By | 1960s, Uncategorized | No Comments

  By Stuart Rosenfield, DJHS Board Member Among the many collections to explore, the archives of the Dallas Jewish Historical Society, located in the Aaron Family JCC, houses a collection from one of Dallas’s most progressive Court of Appeals judges, Barbara Rosenberg. Barbara Rosenberg’s story, from her early political beginnings while studying for the bar, to being a pioneer as a woman in the legal profession, her nationally renowned campaign against an establishment candidate, and her tireless legal work to advance gay and lesbian rights, is a story documenting Dallas’s changing attitudes from the late 20th century to today. Born and raised in San Antonio, Texas, Rosenberg attended the University of Texas at Austin, and later moved to Dallas where she became involved in the Democratic Party. In her early career, she worked with several law offices, including the legal team that defended people arrested during raids at Village Station in the late 1970’s. A constant advocate for LGBT and women’s rights, Rosenberg worked to educate members of the Gay Political Caucus on the participation process for the Democratic Convention and served as vice-chair of the Dallas Area Women’s Political Process. Appointed to her first judiciary position as Associate Municipal…

Read More
Titche's ephemera 2015-more

Treasures from the DJHS Archives – February 2016

By | 1920s and Earlier, news | 2 Comments

          Among the many collections to explore, the archives of the Dallas Jewish Historical Society, located in the Aaron Family JCC, houses a collection from one of Dallas’s premier department stores of the 20th century. Titche’s, or Titche–Goettinger’s as it was known, was opened in downtown Dallas in 1902, by Edward Titche and Max Goettinger. Originally located at the corner of Elm and Murphy Streets in downtown Dallas, the store moved in 1904 to the Wilson building and then again when it built its flagship location at St. Paul Street, between Elm and Main Streets, which was then considered “Uptown”. At this new, much larger location the store successfully competed for Dallas’s growing fashion-conscious consumer and expanded the number of stores.  Over the years, Titche-Goettinger was sold to larger retail conglomerates, who later shortened the name to Titche’s when the store expanded into the suburbs in the 1960’s and 1970’s. The name was changed again from Titche’s to Joske’s (its sister department store chain) until the then-owners (Allied) sold the stores to Dillard’s in 1987.  The flagship location in downtown Dallas was closed after the Dillard’s acquisition. This collection, generously given to the DJHS by Ellis…

Read More